Have you ever found yourself in a pattern of complaining or even thinking about complaints? Complaining is something that grows as we continue to do it. The more we complain the more we want to complain and the more we focus on the negative. 

We recently began working with a couple who complain constantly about each other. I’m sure there was a time in their marriage when they looked for the good in each other and enjoyed being together. However, somewhere along the way, they began to complain and the complaining grew until now, their marriage is just one big complaint and they both want out.

To listen to this couple is like listening to someone who wants to return a defective product to a store. The person is angry that what they bought didn’t meet their expectations and they want to detail all the reasons why the product isn’t meeting their needs or the reasons why it doesn’t work the way they want it to. If you have ever worked in customer service, you know what it is like when a dissatisfied customer brings an item back. They go on and on and on about the defective product but they also talk about the inconvenience of having to bring it back. Once returned, I’ve seen people begin the process of telling everyone they know that the product was junk. Something they once were so excited about buying now is something they are adamantly against.

This scenario is true for marriages too. People become angry that their marriage isn’t meeting their expectations so they begin to complain. The more they complain, the more the issues become paramount and they begin to detail the reasons why their marriage isn’t meeting their needs or the reasons why it isn’t working the way they want it to. In time, they cannot see the good and disconnect from each other. They become so focused on the negative that the very thing that they were once so excited about has become a “piece of junk” to them. If they don’t recognize this and do something about it, they will throw it away because that’s what you do with junk. 

The only way that you can turn this situation around is by purposefully looking for the good and complimenting your spouse. You have to force yourself to stop complaining. You see, in the same way that complaining grows and ruins a relationship, complimenting your spouse nourishes the relationship. Think back to when you first met, you consistently complimented and praised each other but somewhere along the way that stopped and complaining began. To turn things around, you have to focus on what is right not on what is wrong.  

How are you doing in this area? Do you spend more time complaining about your relationship or complimenting and praising your partner? If you aren’t careful, you will be looking for the “customer service counter” to complain about the junk you purchased.  Turn things around today by complimenting instead of complaining.

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